The Most Galaxy-Defining Star Wars Moments

We all know the major Star Wars™ moments — from Darth Vader’s™ “No, I am your father” in The Empire Strikes Back™ to The Mandalorian™ adopting Grogu™, and everything beyond and in between. The franchise has many memorable scenes. They’ve been memed. They’ve been quoted. And ultimately, they’ve been ingrained in every aspect of pop culture itself.

But there are other moments in Star Wars that have still greatly affected the galaxy. Quiet decisions, chance encounters, and seemingly small scenes have had a major impact that may not have been obvious on the first watch. Below, let’s break down various junctures in Star Wars television episodes and films that rippled across time and space.


Padmé Amidala™ accompanies the Jedi™ to Tatooine™

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace™

In The Phantom Menace, Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn™ and his Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi™ must venture onto the harsh desert planet Tatooine for ship parts. Queen Amidala™ sends her handmaiden, Padmé, to accompany them. What the Jedi don’t know is that Padmé is the true queen, and has decided to join them based on her own interest and ambition. What they all don’t know is how much this decision impacts each of their futures.

On Tatooine, they meet Anakin Skywalker™. Qui-Gon’s desire to train the young boy will eventually result in his death at the hands of Sith Apprentice Darth Maul™. Obi-Wan Kenobi will become Anakin’s Master instead — and we all know how that goes. But the most important meeting, of course, is between Anakin and Padmé. Later in the Prequel Trilogy™, the two will engage in a forbidden relationship that alters the entire fate of the galaxy. And their children, Luke Skywalker™ and Leia Organa™, will be even more instrumental as the Skywalker Saga™ continues.


Hunter™ doesn’t follow Order 66™

Star Wars: The Bad Batch™

Like later episodes of The Clone Wars™, Star Wars: The Bad Batch shows even more of the tragic Order 66 event than is depicted in film. A long-planned subterfuge orchestrated by Emperor Palpatine™, it results in many trusted clone troopers™ turning against their Jedi Commanders, almost completely wiping out those who wield the Force. Thanks to a few clone troopers such as Captain Rex™ and the “defective” Clone Force 99™, Palpatine’s plans for Jedi extinction are foiled.

Hunter, Wrecker™, Echo™, and Tech™ are able to resist the implant chips that force them to murder Jedi. Seeing that Order 66 is wrong, Hunter helps a young Padawan™ named Caleb Dume™ escape. Caleb Dume will later assume the name Kanan Jarrus™, and will help the inception of the first Rebel cell along with Hera Syndulla™ and her Ghost crew.


Ezra Bridger™ steals jogun™ fruit on Lothal™

Star Wars: Rebels™

Street smart orphan Ezra Bridger lives alone on Lothal. One morning, he goes to the nearby market and intercepts a couple of Stormtroopers™ as they harass a local merchant. Not to let his good deed go to waste, though, the hungry teenager takes some jogun fruit for his trouble. His mere presence at that market at that exact moment alters his destiny forever.

Ezra climbs onto a roof to enjoy his breakfast. There he witnesses the start of the Ghost crew’s mission to steal Imperial supply crates. Unknowingly pulled toward Kanan Jarrus due to their connection through the Force, Ezra interrupts their heist in an attempt to profit from their stolen goods. What follows is a hilarious wild goose chase and the beginning of one of the most important found families in Star Wars.


Galen Erso™ names the Death Star™ plans “stardust”

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story™

Galen Erso™ is a scientist who helps create the Empire’s kyber crystal™ fueled weapon, the Death Star™. Forced to work upon penalty of death, Galen secretly defies his captors. He introduces a fault into the Death Star schematics — the small opening which will later allow Luke Skywalker to blast it to smithereens. The discovery of this fault lies with Galen’s estranged daughter Jyn Erso™. But how will she know?

Along with her Rebel companions K-2SO™ and Cassian Andor™, Jyn infiltrates Scarif™ Base to find the plans. When they are looking among the thousands of archived data, a particular title catches Jyn’s eyes: stardust. This was her childhood nickname. By using a phrase only Jyn recognizes, either out of nostalgia or cunning, Galen ensures good triumphs over evil.


Obi-Wan Kenobi chooses Han Solo™ and Chewbacca™ as transport

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope™

The Millennium Falcon™ is infamous for its speed — and its captains’ discretion. Co-pilots Han Solo and Chewbacca are a safe and sure hire if you’re looking to escape Imperial eyes. Therefore Ben Kenobi™ chooses them as his mode of safe passage out of Tatooine. Along with Luke, R2-D2™, and C-3PO™, the old Jedi escapes imprisonment as well as punishment for harboring young Skywalker.

Picking Han and Chewie™ changes everything, of course. Han is part of the Original Trilogy™ trio. He’s Leia’s true love, and Kylo Ren™/Ben Solo’s™ future father. And Chewbacca has been an ally to the light side of the Force since Yoda’s™ time on Kashyyyk. Such interconnectedness is one undeniable facet of the Force, then, as Ben’s small choice would set into motion decades of sci-fi drama.


Rey™ refuses to sell BB-8™

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens™

Rey is introduced to us as a scavenger. She gathers scraps of ships and metal from around Jakku™, then sells them to a corrupt individual named Unkar Plutt™ who decides daily what items are worth. This is her only way of getting food. She lives by herself, doesn’t seem to hunt, and can’t gather any fruits or vegetables from the barren wasteland she calls home.

That’s where BB-8 comes in. Poe Dameron’s™ unique, lovable droid is hiding from the First Order. Rey saves him and fixes his antenna, so BB-8 sticks around. However, Unkar Plutt offers Rey a truly ridiculous amount of meal portions in exchange for BB-8. While Rey fleetingly considers taking the payment, she ultimately refuses and then fights to keep BB-8 in her possession. Because of her courage, her true place in the galaxy — and all the power hidden within her — are eventually revealed.


What other small moments in Star Wars had a major impact on the story? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!